Tajik President solicits OSCE assistance for democratic elections

Imomali Rakhmonov on 3 February assured visiting OSCE Secretary-General Jan Kubis that he will do everything in his power to ensure that the upcoming parliamentary elections are democratic. At the same time, he requested the help of the OSCE in achieving that objective, ITAR-TASS and Asia Plus-Blitz reported. Rakhmonov also expressed an interest in possible OSCE assistance in post-conflict rehabilitation. Kubis, who in 1998-1999 served as the special representative in Tajikistan of the UN secretary-general, also met on 3 February with Tajik Foreign Minister Talbak Nazarov and with National Reconciliation Commission Chairman Said Abdullo Nuri to discuss the situation in the country. On 4 February, ITAR-TASS quoted a German Embassy official in Dushanbe as saying that the German government has allocated $100,000 to finance the activities of the joint UN/OSCE commission that will monitor the parliamentary elections. The Iranian Embassy has donated 20 tons of paper to the Central Commission for Elections and Referenda, according to Asia Pluz-Blitz. LF

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